History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Businesses - Bars and Clubs

 
Castaways
Location: 424 W. McKinley Avenue

Opened:
Closed:

before 1961
approx 1970
Clientele:

Female/ male
Bar/ dancing/ social

 

 
       
 

The Castaways was a very popular dance bar. It appears in the earliest national bar guides we have been able to locate, indicating it existed at least since 1961. A 1969 national gay guide has the notes: "The most 'in' place in Milwaukee/ Dancing permitted, almost encouraged/ Don't miss this spot!"

This same building has been the site of four LGBT bars:
     Clay's Castaways (1961-1969)
     Casablance Disco (aka Denny J's Disco/ 1990-1990)
     Jet's Place (1990)
     3B's (1991-1995)

After operating on North McKinley for some years, it relocated in 1969 or 1970 to South 2nd street and was renamed "Castaways South".

More information about this business is welcomed from anyone who can contribute it.

 

Photo inside Castaways
(photo courtesy of Josie Carter,
via Jamie Taylor)
 
Josie Carter and Wayne inside Castaways
(photo courtesy of Josie Carter,
via Jamie Taylor)
 


Listings in early "Gay Guides":
(For more information on the Guides, click here.)

1963, Lavendar Baedeker
  History of the Baedeker Guides   Index
1964, "Directory 43"
  Title Page   Introduction
1964 Guild Guide
  Title pg   Editors note   Note concl
1964 Lavender Baedeker Guide
  History of Baedeker Guides
1965 International Guild Guide
  Title pg   Editor's note   Codes
1966 Bob Damron's Address Book
    Publisher note
Code: G (Girls, but rarely exclusively)
1966 International Guild Guide
    Title pg   Editors note
1966 Lavender Baedeker Guide
    Back page
1966 Male World Guide
    Index, excerpt
1967 International Guild Guide
    Title pg
1968 Bob Damron's Address Book
    Title pg   Editors note   Codes
Code: G (Girls, but rarely exclusively)
1969 International Guild Guide
    Title pg   Editors note   Codes
Notes: G (Girls).
The most 'in' place in Milwaukee/
Dancing permitted, almost encouraged/
Don't miss this spot
 

Credits: contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
National gay guide research by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: December-2015.